Here in Florida, we are in Rock Lobster season. Fishermen head to our warm waters with their spears, trying to get their share of nature’s bounty. Not only is our lobster season different, but the lobsters are quite different from the better-known New England Lobsters.
At first glance, most people note the Florida lobsters do not have the large claws that are so sweet to eat. Then, after cooking, the color remains brown, rather than the bright red of their New England cousins on the plate.
Recently, I was on a beach trip with friends and we decided to do a comparison of the two. I have trouble finding both on the same day at home, but, with some planning, we found a restaurant that ordered both kinds for our side-by-side comparison.
At first, the Rock Lobsters didn’t look larger, however there was far less waste than with the New England Lobsters. Out of their shells, one Florida Rock Lobster had about the same amount of meat as three New England Lobsters. I used to live in New England, so I have to point out they come in all sizes. Here in Florida, the New England Lobsters we are served are quite small. Up North, I would call them an appetizer size. My Dad would call them bait.
Now, to the taste test. You probably already know, the New England Lobster is very tender and sweet. I not only enjoyed it, but I was reminded of so many Shore dinners in my past, boiled with lots of butter. Now for the Florida Lobster: the meat is meatier. Ours were wood-grilled and had a smokey flavor that went with the texture, much like a tender steak. Without seasoning, it tasted very substantial, a special entrée. Mine was so large that I could not eat half of my portion. No worries. That’s what friends are for.
Since I adore New England Lobsters, I’m shocked that of the two, I found the Florida Rock Lobster to be a better dinner entrée. Not only is the size more substantial, but the flavor and texture make a satisfying meal. I’m planning some home dinners with friends, featuring our own local products, both fresh and flavorful.